Weather Forecast


Bike season time for extra caution

With the warmer temps, bicycle and motorcycle traffic is heating up and all the more need for caution on the roadways both by the bikers themselves and motorists who have a tendency to disregard proper rules of the road thinking the roadways are theirs alone.

The same concept could apply to bicycle riders seen out and about lately, who need to remember there are certain common sense rules that apply to them that they need to adhere to.

This would include respecting drivers on the roadway by following safety rules that are applicable; among them utilizing bike paths whenever they are available, and when they are not, abiding by the correct rules of the road for bicycle riders which include riding in the same direction as traffic, obeying all traffic signs and signals, yielding the right of way when necessary, and signaling turns and riding in a predictable manner.

Following all these rules and any others that apply will go a long way in promoting safety, including the one that tops the list - wearing a helmet at all times when out and about bicycling.

Statistics show that the first and most important step in riding bicycles safely is for youngsters to wear a helmet and making sure it is positioned correctly. This factor alone has reduced head injuries by up to 85 percent.

Referencing bicycle riders in particular, each year more than one-half million individuals are injured seriously enough to require emergency room treatment, with about 1,000 kids ending up in emergency rooms every day with injuries, including broken bones or brain concussions; and approximately 900 bikers die each year due to bicycle-related accidents.

Driving that point closer to home, between 2005 and 2009, six people died in bicycle-related accidents in North Dakota.

Because head injury is the leading cause of death and long-lasting impairments related to bike crashes, the Department of Health urges all bike riders, including adults, to wear helmets every time they ride.

Excellent advice all bicycle riders should quickly learn to practice every time they go out for a ride.